Despite a sizable outcry from devoted fans, East New York ended its one-season run on CBS Sunday.
The Warner Bros. TV series from creators William Finkelstein and Mike Flynn wrapped with a sentimental gathering of its leads having one last drink together — Deputy Inspector Regina Haywood (the terrific Amanda Warren), Assistant Chief John Suarez (Jimmy Smith), Det. Crystal Morales (Elizabeth Rodriguez), Det. Tommy Killian (Kevin Rankin), Officer Brandy Quinlan (breakout Olivia Luccardi), Officer Marvin Sandeford (Ruben Santiago-Hudson), Officer Andre Bentley (Lavel Schley) and Capt. Stan Yenko (Richard Kind).
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Yenko gave a toast to Haywood, who thanked her for bringing him back onto the force where he “came to love it all over again.” His words brought Haywood to tears.
The episode wrapped up a double homicide from the previous episode in Ruskin Gardens, where Quinlan had been living as part of Haywood’s unique initiative to have officers live in crime-ridden areas. Quinlan was initially dinged for allowing a young parolee named Tyson to move into the projects — a public housing no-no — but she made it her mission to prove the kid wasn’t responsible for the fatal shootings.
Still, the incident put Haywood’s job into peril as ambitious higher ups like Chief Warren Donaldson (Danny Mastrogiorgio) looked to kill her policing project. Ultimately, Heywood prevailed because Quinlan helped to find the real shooter. The program and Haywood’s job would be saved!
At the end of the episode, Heywood toasted her unit in the bar by saying “you didn’t quit, you didn’t phone it in. You did what you had do. You got it done.”
ENY and S.W.A.T. were believed to be competing for one slot before the latter show was ultimately renewed while ENY was not. Both come from outside studios, and both are rare broadcast dramas with Black leads and diverse ensembles. While S.W.A.T. is older and more expensive, it also has a proven track record with an established fan base and solid ratings.
Still, ENY drew bigger linear numbers than two other CBS drama series that have been renewed for next season, fellow freshman So Help Me Todd and CSI: Vegas, both of which come from CBS’ sister studios CBS Studios.
Now that the WGA strike is in full force, finding a new home for ENY is considered a long shot but the show’s creative auspices and their reps are giving it a try. Finkelstein, Flynn, Michael M. Robin, Ed Redlich served as executive producers. Also executive producing was former top CBS programming executive Thom Sherman, who had developed the series.
“I’m extremely proud of the show we put forth,” Sherman tells Deadline. “The ENY team, led by Billy Finkelstein, Mike Flynn, Mike Robin, Mo McCrae, Ed Redlich, and our stellar cast, led by the sublime Amanda Warren, delivered 21 terrific episodes of television. It’s a shame that we might not get to do more.”
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